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About the Refugees

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"In the end only kindness matters." It's not merely a phrase or tag line for my blog. I care about humanity, and hope to leave a positive legacy and impact on the world during my lifetime, no matter how small. Almost everywhere I travel, I try to understand the humans I encounter, their place in the world, and how they got there. This was the case during my trip to Israel last year, where so many of my travel companions visited only holy sites. While in East Jerusalem, I left the group to visit a refugee camp. It wasn't filled with Syrians, of course, but Palestinians who basically live in dire circumstances, and garbage filled plots. This experience changed my life, and the emotions that overcame me during the visit will never be accurately conveyed in words. It was there I met the young girl pictured in this photo, and many others like her, who are basically born into chaos and instability. Perhaps I'll tell you their story later this week, but I just want to say a few words about the current refugee crisis.

Last week, I grew tired of watching media coverage of this event. I don't support the decision of the press to publish the photo of that poor drowned child, Aylan, on the Turkish shore. In my view, it's mere exploitation, and shows a lack of respect for the family. The purpose of it I'll never understand, except to note that in today's society provocative images feed mass culture and generate hysteria, for both better and worse. Each night on various American channels, we see dramatic stories about the crisis, pulling on viewers' heart strings by showing weeping mothers with children desperately clinging to their arms. Weary fathers and young men stepping out of boats and flimsy rafts, their feet now on safer shores after harrowing sea journeys. Angry old women screaming about abuse by Hungarian and other European border officials. Many of the refugees seemingly unwilling to settle for anything other than Germany or Britain - two of the most prosperous countries in the EU. This is the most perplexing part of the current situation for me. Having personally worked with refugees and asylum seekers in my legal career, I can say that most who are desperate to leave behind the horrors of their homeland will seek refuge in the first country in which they cross. They don't make demands, or pick and choose the country into which they will assimilate. Their new home is almost always the first foreign soil on which they step foot - either by land, sea, train or other transport. The goal - to make it to ANY country that is safer and better than the one from which they fled. The current crisis is unique to some extent, as Hungary and other countries have made it clear the refugees aren't wanted and there's no ability to accommodate them.

What's the answer? No one can know, not even the leaders of nations who are partly to blame for the crisis, including the EU and America. Russia also, as Putin has openly admitted supporting the Assad regime. I've read a lot of posts about this situation on LiveJournal, and hundreds of comments. Xenophobia runs rampant, complete intolerance and even a gleeful attitude by some that Europe and America is getting what they deserve. Yet almost none of the commentors offer any type of solution. The crisis is here, staring Europe and the West in the face, and inaction isn't a viable option at this point. The influx of humanity is too large.

I've said over and over again that I'm very sympathetic to immigrants, and civil societies should make efforts to accommodate refugees, but there are limits. And this is the dilemma. The intricate balance between true humanitarian relief, and allowing millions of free loaders into a system that will eventually feed them money, medicine and other social benefits. Or, even worse, allowing a select few to seek refuge, only to have them turn in the future and try to annihilate the citizens of the very country which took them in. We've seen it before right here on U.S. soil, with the Chechen bombers.

I've noticed that many people in comments to other posts focus on the fact that the majority of those crossing are young men. Where are all the women and children, they say? To me, this isn't so unusual. Young men come, they have the ability, strength and capacity to work and earn in a new country. Poor families don't have the financial resources to pay smugglers to escort entire families. Once the men are settled, and especially if they are able to obtain some type of asylum protection, there is a solid basis to bring the rest of the family over legally under most Western systems.

Then, I see photos like this in the press. Young men taking selfies after arrival on the Greek shoreline. I'm sorry, but true refugees are typically terrified and would never contemplate such action. Or, has social media and technology made the world so narcissistic that even those fleeing war and tragedy need to post selfies on Facebook? It's completely unfathomable to me. I'm a tolerant person, but such images cause a lot of doubt in my mind about the plight of some of the people demanding entry into Europe. This group of men - they are clearly economic migrants. Not refugees. There's a huge difference. Both under the law, and from a humanitarian perspective.

selfie

What do you think?  How should Europe handle the crisis? What will America do? Open the flood gates and allow asylum petitions for the Syrians? I would offer my opinion, but honestly I have no idea how to handle this political and humanitarian crisis. Offer your opinions, but please be respectful in the comments.


Comments

( 223 comments — Leave a comment )
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leo_sosnine
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:47 am (UTC)
Build a wall and pass through this wall only those who proved their worthiness.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:51 am (UTC)
I don't like the idea of walls. I saw this in Israel, with the separation wall that exists there. It's barbaric in my view, although it has proven to be effective for the Israelis. Also, for such a wall to work effectively, it must be adequately patrolled by armed forces. What happens when people try to climb over? Shoot them? :( There are no easy solutions to these immigration issues, but a wall is a common solution proposed by many. It has even been suggested for U.S. borders.
(no subject) - leo_sosnine - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC) - Expand
serjiojitser
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:49 am (UTC)
Сирийские дети выглядят кротко, но их родители не всегда ведут себя хорошо. Многие беженцы приносят фундаментальный Ислам, криминал и средневековые обычаи на Запад. Не удивительно, что их никто не хочет принимать.
Я думаю, Запад должен помочь остановить войну на Ближнем Востоке. Это будет лучшей помощью.
Как конкретно я не знаю. Возможно надо отбомбится по Ассаду, как было сделано с Каддафи.

Syrian kids look cute, but their parents, not always behave in the best way. A lot of refugees bring fundamentalist Islam, crime and mid evil customs to Western World. So no wonder they are not welcome.
I believe West should help to stop war(s) in the Middle East. This would be best help.
How exactly I'm not sure. Maybe just bomb Assad, similar to previous dictator Qaddafi.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:55 am (UTC)
I understand this is a concern for many Europeans - the integration of fundamentalist Islamic ideas into the culture. In the U.S., we've not yet experienced this, at least not that I've seen. In places like France such concerns are much more wide-spread and legitimate. The Muslim population is much higher in Europe, when compared to the USA. About the war, it's a great idea but not practical. Many nations have blood on their hands, including the USA. :( Human casualties and suffering are always a collateral consequence of warfare. No matter the war, no matter the country.
(no subject) - sun_jr - Sep. 8th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sun_jr - Sep. 8th, 2015 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - seadevil001 - Sep. 8th, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
sov0k
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:54 am (UTC)
Global government that will abolish all private property is the only chance for the survival of human civilization. Until that changes are going to be only for the worse.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:56 am (UTC)
Global government? And who would be the leader of this government?
(no subject) - sov0k - Sep. 8th, 2015 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sov0k - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - korzh18 - Sep. 8th, 2015 07:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - korzh18 - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 8th, 2015 07:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 1greywind - Sep. 8th, 2015 07:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 1greywind - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
bloger_d
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:56 am (UTC)
these are black haches and churkas

they are famous for their composers and mathematicians

peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:57 am (UTC)
What are churkas? Is this a Russian slang word?
(no subject) - sov0k - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bloger_d - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bloger_d - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:13 am (UTC) - Expand
about "a churka ". - veraprok - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: about "a churka ". - andrew_vm - Sep. 8th, 2015 09:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: about "a churka ". - veraprok - Sep. 8th, 2015 09:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: about "a churka ". - andrew_vm - Sep. 8th, 2015 09:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: about "a churka ". - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: about "a churka ". - veraprok - Sep. 9th, 2015 03:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bloger_d - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bloger_d - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bloger_d - Sep. 8th, 2015 08:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - korzh18 - Sep. 8th, 2015 07:18 am (UTC) - Expand
agathpher
Sep. 8th, 2015 01:58 am (UTC)
I totally agree with your assessment of the current refugee crisis, and totally at odds with your opinion of the Palestinian refugees.

Why do they stick around in Israel when they hate it so much? (I presume you are aware that annihilation of Israel is one of the major goals of the Palestinian leadership, which they announce periodically).

Why was Israel able and willing to absorb hunderds of thousands of Jewish refugees from Arab countries after the 1948 war, but the Arab countries did not accept pretty much anyone from Israel?

This moaning about the palestinian's plight is what perpetuates their troubles. They should be transferred and the world should move on, don't you think?
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:18 am (UTC)
Okay, we will not agree about the Palestinians. :) I know many Palestinians, and spent almost two weeks in the West Bank. I understand the stated position of Hamas is the annihilation of Israel, but in reality I never met one Palestinian who harbored these feelings. At the same time, I agree with some of your views. Some people are comfortable living in shit, and they will not crawl out of it no matter how many resources are offered, or international aid is given. I do not have warm feelings after visiting Israel. I understand both sides of the conflict, and there are no winners. Both sides suffer.
(no subject) - agathpher - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
sergechel
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
No or limited social support for unemployed migrants and deportation for illegal ones.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:33 am (UTC)
In the current crisis, they are all illegal at this point. Should Europe turn them all away? There should always be limited social support for migrants, or even ordinary citizens. But in reality, the system never works. So many sit and do nothing, living off the tax dollars of hardworking citizens. It happens all the time in America and Europe, and esp. during Obama's terms!!
(no subject) - wojzeh - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:01 am (UTC) - Expand
3as7
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:30 am (UTC)
I agree that most of them are economic immigrants. I've seen some complaints from German people willing to help those immigrants, that those "refugees" don't want basic necessities and food, they demand smartphones and calling cards.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:36 am (UTC)
Wow! I would turn my back on such people, and not offer one ounce of help except to point them to employment ads so they can find a job!!
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 04:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 10:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
wojzeh
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:57 am (UTC)
Recently I shared my vision on the situation in my livejournal (in Russian.)

I wonder if you know how many people are displaced in Syria, how many of them quit the country, and how many of them applied for asylum in EU? Please answer first without checking the data on the official sources. I was surprised by the real data.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 03:11 am (UTC)
Yes, a lot. About the numbers I know, because immigration, refugees and asylum seekers are of special interest to me as a lawyer. These are the people to which I give my charitable time and energy. But as I state in the post, real refugees aren't pausing to take selfies nor are they so demanding or picky about the country into which they assimilate. That's why I question the authenticity and motivation of some of these people.
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wojzeh - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wojzeh - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 03:54 am (UTC)
No, I'm not sure as I said in the post. I believe some are truly refugees, others are mere opportunists and economic migrants. The behavior in those photos and train station is incomprehensible to me. Animals.
creaze
Sep. 8th, 2015 03:55 am (UTC)
Solution?

Settle them down on any vacant land, fence it off, call it a temporary camp and introduce a military regime for 12 years. Provide them with food, enforce security (i.e. arrange police on the inside). And my favourite — forced labour. Provide with construction equipment and make them build roads, houses, powerplants, waste water purification plants, etc. Virtually force them to build their own neighborhood. Same applies to farming lands (vehicles going to have to be provided as well, unfortunately). Maybe some industry, which is unpopular in the western countries, so that this community would repay at lest partly the expenses spent on it.

So that a refugee would have a choice: go in, apply to the rules, work hard, and in return you'll be perfectly safe, fed, medically trated and eventually even get some of those civilised properties like a house, fresh veggies on the table and so on. Either that or get the hell out.

This would require quite some investment, one or two thousand soldiers to enforce order, all those machines and materials, but i believe the cost is comparable to what europe bears right now.

You could go for a half measure of course: fence the same area off, put them on there, just make sure no weaponse are smuggled in, and then just let them be by themself. Just live off that land in their traditional fashion. Boil in their own "culture". It's cheaper, but you'll soon find out, that there is a little middle east inside that fence, with their own jews and palestines, assad and isis, and plenty of bloodshed.

Either way, i would reccomend to NOT place that area within the borders of your country. Make it all somewhere wehere they come from, issue a UN mandate or something, that expropriates that territory from whichever country there is. And bring all those refugees over.

Edited at 2015-09-08 03:56 am (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 04:04 am (UTC)
An Egyptian billionaire has offered to buy an entire island and donate money for infrastructure, etc. such that all the refugees can be put in one place. Did you read about him? His idea is similar to yours. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kerenblankfeld/2015/09/05/egyptian-billionaire-urging-greek-and-italian-leaders-to-sell-him-island-for-refugees/
no - creaze - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Ты крут!) - andrey_kaminsky - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:26 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - 3as7 - Sep. 8th, 2015 11:07 am (UTC) - Expand
aavenger
Sep. 8th, 2015 04:19 am (UTC)
There is no real crisis - it is artificially created by media. Those people are not refugees, as real refugees settle in camps close to the nearest border they've crossed in their flee waiting for resolution of where they are to be dispatched - for temporary or permanent residency. No demands, no claims.

Receiving party (the same nearest neighbour country) has to enforce such attitude and order - those not willing to comply will get a bullet in a head and their "flee" will be over for eternity. Not to mention that such a number of young people refusing to protect their own land and fight for it... just rats, and rats tend to bite the hand feeding them. And they bite hard.
kremlin_curant
Sep. 8th, 2015 05:06 am (UTC)
>>>There is no real crisis - it is artificially created by media.<<<

Are you kidding? Of course you are. You may read and may watch. There is ugly war with hundred thousands of dead civilians in those areas where this poor people run from.
(no subject) - aavenger - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aavenger - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aavenger - Sep. 8th, 2015 06:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 06:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aavenger - Sep. 8th, 2015 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
kremlin_curant
Sep. 8th, 2015 05:00 am (UTC)
In my strong opinion Europa and other NATO countries must accept all refugees from the places where the war rages. This is the NATO what helped to remove dictators as Saddam and Qadaffi and supply the weapon to Syrian rebels not mentioning the war in Libya and Aphganistan. Kudos to Germany. It feels her guilt toward all unfortunate displaced people and offer them to register in the Germany for apply for refugee or sanctuary status.
U.S. also must accept more refugees than now only 2000 people from there permitted to live here.
3as7
Sep. 8th, 2015 02:26 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, you are wrong.
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 02:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kremlin_curant - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
onkel_hans
Sep. 8th, 2015 05:06 am (UTC)
I am with you.

Regarding Europe, the Old Lady will eventually solve the problem.
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 03:23 pm (UTC)
Old Lady? Merkel? :)
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
a general comment - onkel_hans - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a general comment - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a general comment - seadevil001 - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a general comment - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: a general comment - seadevil001 - Sep. 8th, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Пьер Безухоff
Sep. 8th, 2015 05:06 am (UTC)
>>>I'm a tolerant person,

Tolerance destroy the white man.
Shannon Sorry, but you have how many children? And how much of the Arab women's children?
And add to this and abortions, emancipation, sexual promiscuity, and it turns out that white people lose. But the trouble is that few people are aware of this.

Hard work reporter
Find a stillborn child
(http://hostingkartinok.com/show-image.php?id=ed93f1fefb21472e0feb19517e3bcf5e)
Move it to a convenient location and photograph
(http://hostingkartinok.com/show-image.php?id=d5ba4fc890f682715b875ce331ade54a)
peacetraveler22
Sep. 8th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
It does not matter that I don't have children. They should not be used as pawns or sympathy tokens. The fate of that poor child Aylan is tragic and heartbreaking. His family were true refugees and deserved protection. I do not understand your point about abortions and sexual promiscuity. Neither apply to me.
beloborodoff
Sep. 8th, 2015 05:53 am (UTC)
The old people of these countries say it is internet to blame. Youngsters see other life, how first world lives, naked womans and so on. And they wants it all. So they pack the bag and call himself syrians runing from war. Because europeans feels guilty for this war and humanitarian crysis. While the EU borders are open the will run into it.
andrey_kaminsky
Sep. 8th, 2015 09:35 am (UTC)
Мудрый Путин такого же мнения!
Sure, the Internet is a cause of discontent of the citizens of authoritarian states.
There are strong evidences of the theory that it's the Internet was the cause of Boston Tea Party.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - beloborodoff - Sep. 8th, 2015 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
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